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Stars turn backs on America's troops in Iraq

Discussion in 'Legal' started by rick_reno, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

    Dec 25, 2002
    We should - in turn - turn our backs on their movies/music/etc. Support the ones that support our troops - don't support the ones that don't.


    During world war two American troops away from home for Christmas were entertained by Marlene Dietrich, Bing Crosby and the Marx Brothers. Even in Vietnam Bob Hope was guaranteed to put in an appearance. But soldiers in Iraq are more likely to get a show from a Christian hip-hop group, a country singer you have probably never heard of and two cheerleaders for the Dallas Cowboys.
    Just as the seemingly intractable nature of the war has led to a growing recruitment crisis, so the United Services Organisation, which has been putting on shows for the troops since the second world war, is struggling to get celebrities to sign up for even a short tour of duty.

    It is a far cry from the days following the September 11 2001 attacks, when some of the biggest names in show business, from Jennifer Lopez to Brad Pitt, rallied to the cause. "After 9/11 we couldn't have had enough airplanes for the people who were volunteering to go," Wayne Newton, the Las Vegas crooner who succeeded Bob Hope as head of USO's talent recruiting effort, told USA Today. "Now with 9/11 being as far removed as it is, the war being up one day and down the next, it becomes increasingly difficult to get people to go."
    Newton said many celebrities have been wary of going because they think it might be seen that they are endorsing the war. "And I say it's not. I tell them these men and women are over there because our country sent them, and we have the absolute necessity to try to bring them as much happiness as we can."

    Fear is also a factor. "They're scared," country singer Craig Morton, who is in Iraq on the USO's Hope and Freedom Tour 2005, told USA Today. "It's understandable. It's not a safe and fun place and a lot of people don't want to take the chance."

    The USO was founded in 1941 as a way of boosting morale for the military. For most of that time Bob Hope, who made his first appearance in 1942 and his last in 1990, was its most recognisable face, famed for putting on Christmas extravaganzas on aircraft carriers and American bases during the Vietnam war. Thousands of performers signed up to play the "foxhole circuit" during the second world war, but the USO has a much smaller list.

    Some of the entertainers still willing to travel are die-hard true believers - rock musician Ted Nugent carried a Glock handgun to shows in Iraq last year and said in a radio interview that he manned a machine gun on a Humvee. But many of the USO's regular performers are fierce critics of the war, among them the comic and star of Good Morning Vietnam, Robin Williams, who told USA Today he would like to return to the Middle East in the spring for what would be his fourth tour since 2002. "I'm there for the [troops], not for W," he said in a reference to the president. "Go, man. You won't forget it. You'll meet amazing people," is his message to stars that ask him about the tours. But the comedian said he mostly tries to keep politics out of the show after he did a few jokes about Bush's brainpower at a base in 2003 and got a chilly reception.

    Other critics of the war who regularly perform include the leftwing comedian Al Franken (who is headlining the current tour along with Christian hip-hop group Souljahz) and the punk legend and actor Henry Rollins, one of the Bush administrations most vocal critics.

    The tradition of beautiful women thrilling the troops has continued - although while Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell showed up in Korea and Vietnam could boast Raquel Welch, in Iraq they have had to make do with sometime pop singer and reality TV star Jessica Simpson.

    Wartime entertainers

    Second world war 1941 - 1945

    Bob Hope
    Duke Ellington
    The Marx Brothers
    Judy Garland

    Korean war 1950 - 1953

    Bob Hope
    Marilyn Monroe
    Jane Russell

    Vietnam war 1961 - 1975

    Bob Hope
    John Wayne
    Raquel Welch

    Gulf war 1990 - 1991

    Bob Hope
    Steve Martin

    Iraq war 2003 - present

    Robin Williams
    50 Cent
    Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders
  2. Langenator

    Langenator Senior Member

    Jul 30, 2003
    Ft Belvoir, VA
    "had to make do with Jessica Simpson?" Apparently the Brits can't appreciate a red blooded American woman. I guess they're still going for the 'heroin chic' look.

    And is Toby Kieth a country star nobody's heard of? Maybe if your a snobby Brit media type, but last I checked he was pretty damn popular with the troops.Actually, my wife's uncle, a C-17 pilot, got to fly him around.

    Then there's Bruce Willis and John Elway, to name a few.

    As for the "recruitment crisis", active Army hit something like 105% of mission the last two months. Amusiningly, the segment with the lowest numbers was the Air National Guard. All Army and Marine components were over 100%.
  3. Kaylee

    Kaylee Moderator

    Dec 19, 2002
    The Last Homely House
    The caption on a paper I saw yesterday in the rack (I think it was USA today, not sure) mentioned that two of the USO entertainers were Al Franken and Robin Williams.

    That must go over well. :uhoh:

    edit -- ah, here we go:

    I have to give Franken credit for this:
    though this is also enlightening -
  4. Drizzt

    Drizzt Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Moscow on the Colorado, TX

    Tour Date Location Produced By

    Sergeant Major of the Army Hope and Freedom Tour 2005
    featuring Al Franken, Mark Wills, Craig Morgan, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Keni Thomas, and SoulJahz TBD Persian Gulf USO

    Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Holiday Tour Dec. 15 - 26 Korea USO/AFE

    Rich Little Dec. 7 - 16 Germany and the Netherlands USO/USAREUR

    "Yours, Mine and Ours" Movie Screening Nov. 21 Washington, D.C. USO

    Ron White and Robert Hawkins Nov. 20 - 29 Germany and Belgium USO/USAREUR

    National Hot Rod Association Nov. 13 - 18 Germany USO

    La Mafia Nov. 11 Ft. Carson, Colo. USO

    Lonestar Nov. 4 Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Miss. USO

    Drowning Pool Oct. 30 - Nov. 4 Kuwait USO/AFE
    Ty England

    Marine Expeditionary Force Celebration Oct. 22 New River Marine Corps Air Station, Jacksonville, N.C. USO

    Leeann Tweeden
    Military Idol Finals Oct. 22 - 23 Ft. Gordon, Ga. USO

    Hurricane Katrina Troop Support
    featuring NBA Legends Darryl Dawkins and Artis Gilmore
    Oct. 13 - 14 Gulfport, Miss. USO

    Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band Sept. 30 Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. USO

    Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Sept. 26 - Oct. 2 Cuba USO/AFE

    Don King and Sam Simon Sept. 26 Germany USO

    Hurricane Katrina Troop Support
    featuring Wayne Newton, Neal McCoy and Jeff Ross Sept. 20 - 22 Gulfport, Miss., and New Orleans, La. USO

    Dave Attell Sept. 20 - 27 Kuwait and United Arab Emirates USO/AFE

    Vince Vaughn Sept. 2 - 10 Kuwait and Iraq USO/AFE

    Tito Puente, Jr. Sept. 1 - 12 Korea and Japan USO/AFE

    Alex Skuby and Larry Romano Aug. 31 - Sept. 10 Germany USO/USAREUR

    Henry Rollins Aug. 25 - Sept. 1 Egypt and Turkey USO/AFE

    Chairman's Troop Visit 2005
    featuring Colin Quinn, Jeff Ross, Gale Sayers and Leeann Tweeden Aug. 14 - 23 Germany, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq, Djibouti, Oman, Afghanistan, Korea, Japan, Hawaii and Alaska USO

    Rascal Flatts Aug. 1 - 7 Iraq USO/USAREUR

    "The Dukes of Hazzard" Film Premiere July 26 - 29 Robins Air Force Base, Ga.; Fort Hood, Texas; and Miramar, Calif. USO

    Ty England June 27 - July 5 Korea USO/AFE

    Hootie & the Blowfish
    National Guard Welcome Home Celebration June 25 Raleigh, N.C. USO

    Chelsea Cooley,
    Miss USA 2005
    Shelley Henning,
    Miss Teen USA 2005 June 24 - June 29 Cuba USO/AFE

    Henry Rollins June 13 - 23 Korea, Japan, Guam and Okinawa USO/AFE

    The NBA Legends with Kelly Clarkson
    featuring Artis Gilmore, Gail Goodrich, Spencer Haywood and Dan Roundfield June 10 - 14 Kuwait USO

    Charles Barkely and Roy Green June 8 - 15 Kuwait, Qatar and The United Arab Emirates USO/AFE

    Fred Travalena May 18 - 27 Bosnia, Kosovo and Austria USO/AFE

    Toby Keith May 12 - 23 Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Belgium and Germany USO/USAREUR

    Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band May 17 - 27 Germany, The United Kingdom and the Nertherlands USO/AFE

    Bobby Lopez May 1 - 14 Guam, Japan and Okinawa USO/AFE

    Christia Mantzke April 21 - 30 Greenland USO/AFE

    Adema March 30 - April 8 Kuwait and Iraq USO/AFE

    USO and NFL Salute the Troops
    featuring Warrick Dunn of the Atlanta Falcons and Lawrence Izzo of the New England Patriots March 29 - April 7 Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq USO/AFE

    Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band March 13 Twentynine Palms, Calif. USO

    Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders March 8 - 21 Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom and Iceland USO/AFE

    Colin Quinn March 7 - 16 Kuwait and Iraq USO/AFE

    Leeann Tweeden and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels March 5 El-Centro, Calif. USO

    Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band Jan 29 Naval Base Ventura County, Calif. USO

    James Avery and Stephen Root Handshake Tour Jan 15 - 21 Guam and Kwajalein Atoll (Marshall Islands) USO/AFE

    Carl Smith and Tina Wesson Jan 8 - 19 Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands USO/AFE
  5. mercedesrules

    mercedesrules Participating Member

    Mar 22, 2003
    Reno, are you pro-war (Iraq war) or anti-war?
  6. jefnvk

    jefnvk Senior Member

    Jun 3, 2004
    The Copper Country, Michigan
    Drizzit, the problem I see with that list is a lot of those shows are right here in America.

    When I went to see Uncle Ted, I remember him showing video of him and Toby Keith's trips overseas, along with him mentioning he was going back.
  7. Langenator

    Langenator Senior Member

    Jul 30, 2003
    Ft Belvoir, VA
    Getting performers to go overseas, even to safe places like Germany, is always tougher than getting them stateside.

    Here at Ft Lewis, we've had NFL cheerleaders come to post just about every week during football season. But I've only seen the ones from Dallas go overseas.

    We got Mary Chapin Carpenter when I was in Macedonia in 1997, and I saw Aaron Tippin at Ft Leavenworth in 2000.

    Also, the logistics of moving those USO shows around in a combat zone has to be a major PITA.
  8. bg

    bg Active Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    When you find out, let me know..
    Regardless of how one feels about TV's pro wrestling, Vince McMahn ?
    takes his crew to both Iraq and Afghanistan for holiday shows. I
    watched one this last Monday night. 40* with the wind blowing and
    these guys and gals where in their "costumes" for a lack of better
    words, to do their matches and interact with the troops there..

    To me this is a MAJOR plus. I sometimes forget how lucky I am to
    have the things I have and the freedom to enjoy them. When that
    happens, I refer to this >
  9. Khornet

    Khornet Participating Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    One important name

    was left off the Vietnam list: Ann Margaret. She went to great lengths to entertain and support our people over there.
  10. Lambo

    Lambo Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    Bel Air, Maryland
    During his 1st. Tour last year my nephew a USMC CH-46 Pilot provided Transportation for Toby Keith & Ted Nugent. They treated Nugent with a trip to the Range for a Bang Bang session with a 50 cal. Machine Gun. He had a smile from ear to ear!
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    The list provided by the Guradian is woefully short of all the folks that toured in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

    The fact the Toby Keith and Al Frankin both perform for the troops in Iraq is great! Support for the toops should not be confused with support for the politics that put them there and more performers should understand that.
  12. yonderway

    yonderway New Member

    Dec 19, 2005
    I can't stand Nugent's music (last time I saw him was probably about 5 years ago in Raleigh, NC opening for KISS) I think the man is one of the rare true patriots of our time. Almost a shame he doesn't jump into the political waters. The Nuge would make a kick-ass senator, no?
  13. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Participating Member

    Apr 8, 2005
    Moses Lake WA
    Twelve out 0f fourtyfour? Hmmmm

  14. MikeIsaj

    MikeIsaj Active Member

    Mar 8, 2005
    North of the City of Brotherly Love, West of The P
    There it is. That says it all, right there!
  15. IndianaDean

    IndianaDean Active Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Good for Ted and Robin. I don't care about Franken however, because he's an anti-gun dope.
  16. wingnutx

    wingnutx Participating Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ
    We got Joan Jett :neener:
  17. MDG1976

    MDG1976 Active Member

    Jul 8, 2005
    "Had to make due" with Jessica Simpson?? Have they seen Jessica Simpson??
  18. c_yeager

    c_yeager Mentor

    Mar 14, 2003
    I dont really think that Holywood personalities have an obligation to go into a war. Yeah, its nice if they do it, but I fail to see why they should have to. They are people who do jobs, just like everyone else. Heck, their jobs are far less usefull than most. Anyone who is staying at home with a skill that could be used by the military is in no position to criticize anyone else for doing the exact same thing.
  19. DRZinn

    DRZinn Senior Member

    May 18, 2004
    In a pot of water, 200 degrees and rising slowly..
    Now THAT's funny!
  20. wingnutx

    wingnutx Participating Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ

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